Top Medical Schools In California And Their Requirements

Premed students often want to go to medical schools in California because the state’s programs are highly ranked and in-state students pay less for tuition at public schools.

If you want to go to medical school, you can’t go wrong in California. And this is because California has some of the best medical schools in the country. 

It is also a great place to go to school for medicine because the weather is nice all year long and there are lots of things to do.

Unfortunately, getting into medical schools in California is also very hard because of how competitive the schools are, how many people live there, and how many applications each program gets.

The goal of this article is to make it clear what it takes to get into medical schools in California. You will receive fee costs, rankings, and other important information about each school so that you can choose where to apply based on facts.

General requirements for the top and easiest medical schools in California

There is no one set of rules for getting into a medical school anywhere in the world, as the rules vary from school to school. 

But most medical schools have some requirements that everyone must meet before they can get in.

In the US, for example, most medical schools ask prospective students to send copies of:

  • A high school diploma
  • Bachelor’s degree in the science field (3-4 years)
  • At least a 3.0 GPA in college.
  • Good language scores on the TOEFL (for international students)
  • Recommendation letters
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Minimum MCAT exam result (set by each university individually)

Best medical schools in California

Stanford University Medical School | Stanford, CA

Stanford is known as one of the best medical schools in California and the world because of its cutting-edge studies, innovative thinking in bioengineering and entrepreneurship, and top-notch clinical training. In many ways, Stanford is a top school for medical education. 

It is currently ranked #8 in the country. No matter what you want to do for a living, Stanford is the best way to get started in any field.

Stanford’s curriculum is unique and flexible, so students can follow their interests. Students can “split” their second year, which means they can take only half of the usual number of credits and use the other half of the year to work on a project or do something else for themselves.

If a student chooses this program, he or she will graduate in 5 years instead of 4 years. This is just one of the many options Stanford gives to students who want to take control of their education and make their own way.

Silicon Valley is one of the most expensive places to live in California, and Stanford is right in the middle of it. The cost of living can make it hard for students to get by. 

But Stanford gives a lot of money to help students pay for school, and graduate students can also live on campus. 

For this school, you need an average MCAT score of 519 and a GPA of 3.89.

Although it is one of the best medical schools in California, only 2% of applicants are accepted, and tuition is estimated to be $61,000.

University of California San Francisco (UCSF) | San Francisco, CA

UCSF is in San Francisco, which is one of the best places to live in California. San Francisco is a great place to start your medical career if you love food, the theater, museums, or anything else.

UCSF has a special sense of community service and social justice. They work to make sure that everyone has the same access to health care.

As a medical student at UCSF, you have the humble chance to work with people who are less fortunate and make a big difference in their lives.

Many medical students have an entrepreneurial spirit because UCSF is near Silicon Valley. Also, several students work on new projects and start-up businesses, such as making mobile health apps.

UCSF also offers clinical training and research opportunities that are among the best in the world. 

The faculty at UCSF are well-known experts in their fields and are eager to help students. Students who go to UCSF are eligible to do their residency at some of the best schools in the country.

The national ranking of the best medical school in California is #3, and its average GPA and MCAT requirements are 3.88 and 517, respectively.

It is one of the best medical schools in California with an acceptance rate of 3.8% and a tuition fee of $36,000 (in-state) and $48,000 (out-of-state).

University of California San Diego (UCSD) | La Jolla, CA

The UCSD School of Medicine has a high ranking of #21, which it has earned through strong research and great clinical training. 

Since UCSD is the only major college center in San Diego, students can work with people from all over the city. There are several free clinics at UCSD for people who don’t have insurance or don’t have enough insurance.

Students who want to do research don’t have to go to the UCSD Medical School (although students have no trouble finding an outstanding lab on their campus). 

Students in the medical field also work with faculty at Scripps and in other nearby places. Basic science and biotechnology are strong areas of research at UCSD.

In addition to doing medical research through the university, some students work on medical devices or do internships during the summer in San Diego, which is a growing biotech hub.

The border between the US and Mexico is very close to UCSD. This makes for a unique political and social climate and gives students the chance to work with immigrant groups who have a lot of needs. 

Many students do volunteer work in places where most people speak Spanish, like Tijuana, Mexico.

It is one of the best medical schools in California with an acceptance rate of %3.8, a median GPA, and MCAT requirements of 3.85 and 517, respectively.

At this medical school, tuition is estimated at $37,000 (in-state) and $49,000 (out-of-state).

University of Southern California (USC) | Los Angeles, CA

Students at USC’s Keck School of Medicine are known for having a lot of fun, getting clinical experience early, and getting a top-notch medical education. 

The school spirit is strong, and students have a good balance between work and free time. Being in Los Angeles gives you so many chances to get out and do whatever you love. 

East Los Angeles, where USC Keck Medical School is, is one of the least served parts of the city.

It is connected to L.A. County Hospital, which is the city’s safety-net hospital and sees some of the hardest cases. 

Even so, the clinical experience at USC is very good. Students not only get to work in the hospital early on, but they also get to work on complicated cases that you won’t see in most other parts of the country. 

This is because many of the patients at the county hospital have long-term conditions that aren’t being treated.

As one of the best medical schools in California, it has an acceptance rate of 4.6%, MCAT of 517, and a GPA of 3.81.

The tuition rate at this school is also estimated at $65,000 per year. Currently, the ranking of this school nationally is #31. 

California Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine | Clovis, CA

California Health Sciences University of Osteopathic Medicine (CHSU-COM) is a brand-new medical school. 

In 2020, its first class graduated. CHSU’s main goal is to train doctors who want to stay in the Central Valley of California and help people who aren’t getting enough care. 

Since the institution is so new, there are a lot of chances to help shape its future. Not only that, but all of the buildings are brand new and were made with the goal of improving medical education in mind. 

Manikin-based simulations add to what students learn in the classroom. Anatomy labs have brand-new tools that are just waiting to be used by new students. 

CHSU is interesting because it teaches a lot about nutrition and focuses on culinary medicine. This is unique. People often say that not enough medical schools teach about how food affects health.

The cost of living in Clovis is low compared to most of California, which makes it a great place to live. Still, you are not giving up on the quality of your life. 

You are close to beautiful national parks like Yosemite and Sequoia, and beautiful places like Carmel and Monterey are just a short drive away. Clovis is a great place for art and culture, and food lovers will not be let down.

There are a lot of chances, and by coming here as a medical student, you can make your own way. And because your class is so small, you’ll make friends and connections that will last a lifetime.

It is amongst the best medical schools in California, with an acceptance rate of 5%, an average GPA, and an MCAT of 3.4 and 505.

The tuition for this school is estimated at $53,000, and it is unranked due to the fact that it is a new school.

Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine | Vallejo, CA

This university has a great program for osteopathic medicine that focuses on giving excellent training in holistic health care. 

It pays a lot of attention to preventive health care. They think that many of the health problems people have can be avoided and should be treated as such. 

The clinical training here is great, especially if you want to become a doctor who shares these values.

Touro is also very good at research and helping people in need. The excellent research facilities and faculty help a lot of students. 

And as a student here, you get the rewarding experience of helping people who aren’t getting enough care.

Vallejo is full of things to do, like art galleries, farmer’s markets, Six Flags, and beautiful bike trails. You can also get to San Francisco quickly by ferry, which is known as one of the most exciting cities in the country. 

Vallejo isn’t a very well-known city, but it’s a great place to live. If you are thinking about applying to Touro, you can be sure you will be in a great place.

Currently, it is ranked #94-122 nationally, and this makes it fall in line as one of the best medical schools in California.

The required GPA and MCAT scores for this school are 3.68 and 510, respectively. It has an acceptance rate of 8% and a tuition of $48,000.

Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine | Pomona, CA

Western University in Pomona puts a lot of emphasis on treating the person, not the set of symptoms. 

They also strongly encourage getting involved in the community. As a student, you may even be able to get credit for your degree if you do community service. There are many ways to get involved, from student government to the arts.

As a student here, you will get great clinical training. Not only do you rotate through the usual areas of expertise that most schools require for residencies, but you also do an Osteopathic Manipulative rotation. 

This shows the main ideas behind osteopathic medicine and how to treat the body from a different perspective. Even though there are so many affiliated hospitals where students can do their rotations, they can also do their rotations in hospitals all over the country. You might be able to train at a place or school you’ve been wanting to go to for a while.

Pomona is in a unique spot between Orange County and Los Angeles, so it gets the best of both worlds. As a medical student, you don’t even have to leave Pomona to have a good time. 

There are lots of fun things to do at Western University, like ice cream socials, costume contests for Halloween, and musicals. Students at Western University have a great balance between work and other things in their lives.

It is one of the best medical schools in California. It has an acceptance rate of 6%, a GPA requirement of 510, and an MCAT requirement of 3.68 and 510.

This school is ranked #94-122, and its estimated tuition is $59,000.

Kaiser Permanente Tyson School of Medicine | Pasadena, CA

Kaiser started for the first time in 2019. Even so, it has gained a lot of prestige in a very short amount of time. 

Kaiser is the only place where you can get training like this. Since you work with Kaiser Permanente hospitals, you get to see a lot of different and interesting cases.

Kaiser is dedicated to providing primary care. They think that a big reason why medical students don’t go into internal medicine is that they have a lot of student loan debt and would rather do something that pays more, like surgery. 

Kaiser has responded to this by giving the first few classes of their school free tuition. They also give their students a lot of extras, like laptops, iPads, cell phones, and much more. They don’t want money to stop people from doing what they love.

It’s great to live in Pasadena. It has the perfect mix of old landscapes and new things to do. Not only that, but the weather is perfect all year round. 

Pasadena is a great place to live if you like the idea of living in Los Angeles but don’t want to live in a busy city. It feels like a suburb because it is full of nature and outdoor activities, but downtown LA is only a short drive away. The best of both worlds is what you get.

The best part about this school is that tuition is still free through 2019. The free tuition expires in 2023, but you need a GPA of 3.85 and an MCAT score of 515 to be admitted to this school.

Loma Linda University School of Medicine | Loma Linda, CA

The medical school at Loma Linda is a religious institution whose main goal is to study holistic health care from a Christian perspective. “Continue the healing and teaching ministry of Jesus Christ to make man whole,” they say. 

Students are expected to do research and do service learning based on their religious beliefs (there is a community service requirement for all students).

Students can spend time in a variety of hospitals, such as the VA, city hospitals, and county hospitals.

Loma Linda is in Southern California’s Inland Empire, which is a great place to be because it is close to everything you could want. The beaches are only an hour away, Los Angeles is a short drive to the west, the San Bernardino mountains are great for trips in the winter and summer, and Palm Springs is a great place to relax.

Overall, the Loma Linda School of Medicine is a great place to start your medical training if you believe in what they stand for. 

It is one of the best medical schools in California, and it has an acceptance rate of 5%, and the tuition fee is $48,000.

The school has a lot of resources and wellness programs that help every student do well.

To be admitted into this school, you need a GPA of 3.8 and an MCAT of 509.

Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science | Los Angeles, CA

Charles Drew has all the benefits of being in a small class, but he lives in a big, busy city. And when we say “small class size,” we mean it. 

There were only 26 people in the entering class of 2020. This makes it easy to get close to other students and teachers. 

Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science is proud to be one of the most diverse medical schools in the nation, with a strong focus on social justice and caring for underserved populations. 

The curriculum focuses on important areas of medicine like research, health policy, and differences in health.

As a student at Charles Drew College of Medicine and Science, you will experience the hard work of the medical school, as well as a deep community outreach with underrepresented patients and early, hands-on clinical knowledge.

This is one of the best medical schools in California. This school has a requirement of 3.4 GPA and an MCAT of 508 points.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the easiest medical school to get into in California?

In 2022, UC Davis School of Medicine is one of the easiest medical schools to get into in California. The average MCAT score is 509.

What GPA do you need for medical school?

For medical school, you need a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Is Loma Linda medical school hard to get into?

Because the number of applicants is much higher than the number of spots they have to offer, each year’s applicant pool is very selective and competitive. 

The average BCPM GPA for the class of 2021 was 3.77, the average cumulative GPA was 3.83, and the average total MCAT score was 510.

How many years is medicine in California?

Students in medical school can expect to spend four years getting their M.D. and then another three or more years in residency before they can work as doctors on their own.

How many times can I take the MCAT?

You can take the MCAT test up to 3 times. The MCAT test can be taken up to 4 times in a two-year period.

Can you fail the MCAT?

The good news is that you can’t really fail the MCAT. You may have gotten a very low score, but the MCAT score report does not say whether you passed or failed. 

Still, bombing the MCAT is, without a doubt, one of the worst feelings a student who wants to go to medical school can have.

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